Technology has touched and changed a lot of things—including writing. Writing and publishing in the traditional format is no longer enough. The whole world is online and it has become essential for you as an author to mark your presence in this virtual space. But of course, easier said than done. However, it’s not impossible. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have already made it possible for people—artists, entrepreneurs, and otherwise—to connect easily beyond physical boundaries. In such an age, specialised platforms, where authors and readers can connect, also exist. One such platform is Wattpad: an online community for readers and writers where users can create and publish their written works in different genres. Wattpad features works of both amateur as well as established writers. Whichever category of author you fall into, amateur, established or in between, it would be a good idea to give this site a try.
Diverse Reader Community
Wattpad claims to have a user population of over 70 million people varying in age, gender and origin. For an author, the importance of a reader is immeasurable. Therefore, it is only natural that a platform that provides such a large audience be a definite asset.
Wattpad, just like most other social networking sites, enables the audience to reach out to any user. Through comments and personal messages, readers can provide feedback to you on each of your chapters or different works. Since it is online, you will be able to communicate in real time with your readers, as opposed to an offline method where there will be a time gap between the publishing of the work and the review. The immediate feedback can help you evaluate your writing along the way and since the reader range is so diverse, so will the feedback be.
Wattpad has an option where you can check the statistics of your uploaded work. The statics are divided into three; overview, engagement and demographics. In the overview section, the graph shows you the number of unique readers, votes and comments you received. The engagement section shows the completed reads, votes and comments by part while the demographics show the age, gender and global positioning of your readers. Such statistics help you be aware of your audience and how much you are engaging them. It can help you keep track of your growth and improvement.
Wattpad has been free ever since it went live, and it’s founders have promised that it will continue to be so forever. You do not need to pay to sign up, put up your work, or read. This is definitely a plus point.
The nightmare of all authors. Will my work be stolen if I put it up on an online portal? This is a legit doubt that all writers have when considering Wattpad, especially since it is a free site. Well, rest assured. When you put up an original piece of work on Wattpad, you have the option to choose what to do with the copyrights. Obviously most authors retain all rights to their works and they are protected by copyright laws in areas that include creation, perfomance and distribution. Wattpad has always ensured that these rights of the author be protected.
Wattpad does not require you to put up your entire work at one go. You can upload a work in progress and update it in instalments. The site also allows you to edit your work when you wish to; though it would be a good idea to keep your readers informed about any such changes and news on updates.
You Can Make Money
As your reader count increases and your work reaches more people, it will be possible for you to let ads run through your work. That is to say, when readers access your book, ads will appear in between the chapters. Each time a reader views the ad, you make money. It is a brilliant way for readers to support writers.
Wattpad also has a community page where writers come together and discuss different topics as well as share experiences. The community has sections that deal with different categories. When you visit the community page, there are links that lead you to discussions on various topics; improve your writing, multimedia designs, writer’s portal etc. Whether you are a new writer or an experienced one, there are times when you could use a little help—and what better help than from fellow writers. You can exchange tips, clear doubts and chat about some fun experiences.
Contests are a significant method to improve your writing skills. Wattpad holds a range of contests from Wattys awards to specific contests like genre-based competitions. Based on your interest, you can always find a contest or even try out new ones to experiment with your writing. You can meet like-minded writers and enjoy their works as well. Winning a contest, like the Wattys awards, can boost your book to a whole new level. The winners and runners-up of these awards will always have these brands on their books which will guarantee them more exposure.
Get to Publish Your Book
Exciting, isn’t it? Writers on Wattpad often get picked up by publishers and bag the opportunity to publish their books under these houses. It necessarily doesn’t have to be a popular book—writers are often noticed through competitions, reader reviews and engaging content. Some books by writers have also been selected to be adapted as motion pictures (Anna Todd’s After and Ruth Reekles’ The Kissing Booth). Authors with an encouraging amount of readers can always choose to self-publish. One such example is Rob Thier, one of my favourite authors on Wattpad. His Storm and Silence series has a huge fan base and it has helped him publish and monetize it. Such loyal fan-base has often backed up and supported these authors.
I discovered Wattpad in my school days and it has opened a whole new world to me. I have read books by authors from around the world and interacted with them. I met one of my favourite authors, Sir Rob, through Wattpad and even gotten writing advice from him. Wattpad gave me the courage to put up my own work, until then I never really thought that my work could possibly be read by someone else.
Are you a Wattpad user? What have been your experiences?
If you’ve never tried Wattpad, would you consider it for the above reasons?
About the Author
Christy is a student, part-time writer, and a full-time Wannabe. She devours books and binges shows.